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Karate Masters Portrait Project – F.A.Q.s

I’ve been getting a few emails asking questions about the karate masters portrait project. So I thought I’d answer them here.

Do you have a specific list of karate masters you are going to photograph?

The goal is to photograph all the high ranking karate masters, of all styles, on Okinawa. If and when this happens will depend on the availability and willingness of the karate masters. Fortunately since the project has got underway, word of mouth within the Okinawan karate community has been very positive and we are finding masters happy to give up a little of their time to be photographed.

Will you photograph karate masters in other countries?

Sounds like a great idea, but first we’re concentrating on those masters based in Okinawa.

Can I submit some photographs of my sensei?

I decided at the start of the project that I wanted all the portraits to be shot in the exact same style. By not varying the type of camera, the lighting equipment, or the photographer, I can give the series of images a cohesive look.

What gear do you use?

The series is shot with a Pentax 645D 40 MP medium format digital camera with a 150mm lens. For lighting I use a single powerful Profoto strobe head in a beauty dish, powered by a Profoto 7a 1200w generator. The camera triggers the flash via PocketWizards. I also use a large black velvet background by Lastolite.

Are you going to produce a book of the photographs?

I’d love to do this, but it will be at least a couple of years away, when we have photographed many more of the karate masters.

Are you going to have an exhibition of the photographs?

Again, this would be fantastic, but realistically it is at least a couple of years away.

Karate Masters Portrait Project - Prints

Karate Masters Portrait Project – Dojo prints now available.

Can I buy prints of a particular karate master for my dojo?

Fine art prints of the karate masters are available in two sizes.

11×16″ (A3) US$125

16X22″ (A2) US$175

Prints are created using the same archival materials I have selected for my limited edition prints (Hahnemühle cotton rag photo paper and pigment inks). Prints are made by myself to ensure the highest standards of quality, materials and longevity. It is possible to make prints cheaper using generic papers and dye inks that quickly fade, but I only want to produce the best possible product, and have neither the time nor inclination to create a range of inferior prints. This may seem obsessive, but striving to achieve perfection is not just my goal, but is perhaps at the heart of every stance or kata.

Prints are shipped flat rather than rolled, and are mailed using insured and traceable international express airmail shipping. Images are dispatched within one week of ordering and delivery usually takes around 4 to 7 days. Shipping is US$25 dollars per box. Prints may also be collected from The DOJO Bar in Naha, Okinawa.  Please email  chris@travel67.com  to discuss which prints you would like to purchase.

Once you have selected an image, please send me a link to the image on the Facebook page so I know which print(s) you’d like.  I will then send a Paypal request to you for payment.

Purchasing a print not only helps fund the Karate Masters Portriat Project, but a portion of the print fee will be given to the karate master in the purchased image to help maintain their dojo.  Each of the karate masters photographed has also been given two of the prints for display in their own dojo.


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Travel writer and photographer living in Okinawa, Japan

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